Somewhere in one of the songs on my running MP3 there’s a line, “change your point of view.” It might be in “Man in the Mirror.” No, I am not running very fast. And I’m proud of it.
Anyway, as I’m prepping for this big rewrite of my NaNo novel, I got an idea about putting in a prologue–not from the POV of the main character. It really added depth to the whole novel–just 500 random words plunked on the beginning. That got the old hamster wheels of my brain a-turning. WHAT IF…what if I went through and wrote the scenes of the novel from the POV of this other character (whom we’ll call Joe.) If instead of telling it from Sally’s viewpoint, who is the novice and uninitiated in the wackiness of this situation, I give some of the viewpoint time to Joe, who is the expert and the one who has the biggest problem in the story to solve, then it changes the landscape of the story completely.
I think it might make it fuller.
It’s like a while back in a different book when I was tempted to change my main character’s ages from adult to teen and make my whole book a YA instead. It would have been a completely different story, a totally different Main Conflict would have had to arise, and the interactions between characters would have shifted entirely.
Ultimately I decided against it, but this time I might run with this wild hare of an idea, and see where it takes me during the outlining process.
Now I have to decide whether to let the story pingpong back and forth between POVs for each chapter (or scene), or whether to just keep it in one. OR whether this is simply a really good exercise to help me pinpoint the motivations and the layers of “Joe,” my secondary character.
I love the way writing a novel presents challenges to the writer. A few times I’ve heard novel writing compared to the way Michelangelo “discovered” a sculpture inside his block of marble. He knew it was in there and all he had to do was chip away the extra rock and let the sculpture out. Today it is kind of feeling like that. I love it!